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2004 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team

Games of the XXVIIIth Olympiad -- 2004

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2010

Athens, Greece • August 13-29, 2004


The U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team had one goal in Athens: to win a gold medal. Led by three-time Olympians Lisa Leslie, Dawn Staley and Sheryl Swoopes, the USA team did not disappoint its fans as it captured a third consecutive gold medal for the United States.


2004 USA RESULTS (8-0)

USA
99
New Zealand 47
USA
80
Czech Republic 61
USA
80
South Korea 57
USA
71
Spain 58
USA
100
China 62
USA
102
Greece 72
USA
66
Russia 62
USA
74
Australia 63

2004 OLYMPIC GAMES FINAL STANDINGS

1. USA (8-0) 7. Greece (3-4)
2. Australia (7-1) 8. New Zealand (2-5)
3. Russia (6-2) 9. China (2-4)
4. Brazil (4-4) 10. Japan (1-5)
5. Czech Rep. (4-3) 11. Nigeria (1-5)
6. Spain (4-3) 12. South Korea (0-6)

At the forefront from the start after U.S. team captain Staley was elected by her U.S. peers to carry the flag and lead the United States delegation into the stadium at Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 13, the squad collected a 99-47 victory over New Zealand on Aug. 14, ran past the Czech Republic 80-61 on Aug. 16, tore past South Korea 80-57 on Aug. 18 and earned a 71-58 win over Spain on Aug. 20 before closing preliminary round play with a 100-62 drubbing of China on Aug. 22. USA head coach Van Chancellor piloted his team into the medal semifinals with a 102-72 win over host Greece on Aug. 25 in the quarterfinals and edged Russia 66-62 on Aug. 27 to advance to the gold medal game against Australia. In a rematch of the 2000 Sydney gold medal contest, the U.S. again prevailed for the 74-63 victory and gold medal on Aug. 28.

Staley capped her 15-year USA Basketball career with her ninth gold medal in international competition, including a pair of World Championship golds (1998, 2002). She and Leslie, who has not ruled out her return to the international stage, have competed together nearly every summer since 1989. Additionally, Swoopes, who together with Leslie and Staley was a member of the historic 1995-96 USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team, has not made a decision on whether Athens would be her final international appearance.

For the third time in as many Olympiads Leslie led the U.S. in scoring and paced her squad on the glass for the second Games (2000) after averaging 15.6 ppg. and 8.0 rpg., which ranked eighth and fifth among all competitors, respectively. Leslie also finished at the top of the blocked shots list with 1.75 bpg. Tina Thompson ranked 18th overall after averaging 14.1 ppg. and Yolanda Griffith grabbed a tournament 12th best 6.6 rpg. Additionally, Griffith's 60.5 percent shooting accuracy ranked fourth and Leslie shot 58.8 percent from the field to finish right behind Griffith. Staley, who topped the charts in assist to turnover ratio (3.83), ranked fourth for assists (2.88 apg.), while Tamika Catchings collected an Olympics fifth best 2.75 spg.

As a team the U.S. ranked first among the 12-team tournament in nearly every major statistical category, including scoring offense (84.0 ppg.), scoring defense (60.3 ppg.), scoring margin (+23.8 ppg.), field goal percentage (.470), rebounding offense (41.9 rpg.), rebounding defense (24.1 rpg.), rebounding margin (+17.8 rpg.) and steals (13.4 spg.). Additionally, the USA finished ranked second for defensive field goal percentage (.367) and blocked shots (3.75 bpg.), and third for assists (12.25 apg.).

Leslie closed out her third Olympic competition ranking as the USA's all-time leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker after compiling 407 points, 185 rebounds and 25 blocked shots in three Olympic Games (1996, 2000 and 2004). Leslie also sits atop the list for a single competition for blocked shots with 14 this year.

The 2004 team replaced several team records, including most rebounds in a single game (58) versus New Zealand and most 3-pointers made (10) and attempted (25) versus Greece in the quarterfinals. Overall the U.S. side rewrote single competition records for most field goals attempted (568), most 3-pointers made (35) and attempted (114), highest free throw percentage (.763), most blocked shots (30) and most steals (107).

2000 Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith, who spent the first two games recovering from a knee injury sustained during the WNBA season, tore cartilage in her right knee during the Aug. 22 game against China and was unable to compete in the USA's medal round contests.

2004 USA WOMEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM ROSTER

NAME POS HGT WGT AGE WNBA TEAM COLLEGE HOMETOWN
Sue Bird G 5-9 150 23 Seattle Storm Connecticut '02 Syosset, NY
Swin Cash F 6-2 162 24 Detroit Shock Connecticut '02 McKeesport, PA
Tamika Catchings F 6-0 166 25 Indiana Fever Tennessee '01 Duncanville, TX
Yolanda Griffith F/C 6-4 175 34 Sacramento Monarchs Florida Atlantic '93 Chicago, IL
Shannon Johnson G 5-7 144 30 San Antonio Silver Stars South Carolina '96 Hartsville, SC
Lisa Leslie C 6-5 170 32 Los Angeles Sparks USC '94 Inglewood, CA
Ruth Riley C 6-5 195 25 Detroit Shock Notre Dame '01 Macy, IN
Katie Smith G 5-11 181 30 Minnesota Lynx Ohio State '96 Logan, OH
Dawn Staley G 5-6 134 34 Charlotte Sting Virginia '92 Philadelphia, PA
Sheryl Swoopes F 6-0 145 33 Houston Comets Texas Tech '93 Brownfield, TX
Diana Taurasi G/F 6-0 170 22 Phoenix Mercury Connecticut '04 Chino, CA
Tina Thompson F 6-2 178 29 Houston Comets USC '97 Los Angeles, CA
Head Coach: Van Chancellor, Houston Comets
Assistant Coach: Anne Donovan, Seattle Storm
Assistant Coach: Gail Goestenkors, Duke University
Assistant Coach: C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers University
Team Physician: Sheldon Burns, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Athletic Trainer: Chrissy Price, University of Washington

2004 USA WOMEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

NAME G/S FGM-A PCT 3PM-A PCT FTM-A PCT REB AS BK ST PTS
Leslie 8/8 57- 97 .588 0- 2 .000 11- 15 .733 64/8.0 11 14 8 125/15.6
Thompson 8/8 45- 90 .500 6- 18 .333 17- 22 .773 40/5.0 11 0 8 113/14.1
Swoopes 8/8 29- 71 .408 9- 21 .429 6- 7 .857 32/4.0 13 2 19 73/9.1
Griffith 8/0 26- 43 .605 0- 0 .000 16- 28 .571 53/6.6 1 1 12 68/8.5
Taurasi 8/0 26- 69 .377 11- 33 .333 5- 7 .714 24/3.0 8 3 7 68/8.5
Catchings 8/8 19- 47 .404 2- 8 .250 15- 18 .833 43/5.4 3 4 22 55/6.9
Cash 7/0 16- 35 .457 0- 0 .000 12- 15 .800 31/4.4 2 2 3 44/6.3
Johnson 8/0 18- 46 .391 4- 11 .364 9- 9 1.000 20/2.5 15 1 11 49/6.1
Staley 8/8 12- 23 .522 1- 5 .200 8- 9 .889 4/0.5 23 0 12 33/4.1
Riley 7/0 10- 15 .667 0- 0 .000 4- 5 .800 17/2.4 2 3 3 24/3.4
Bird 7/0 9- 30 .300 2- 16 .125 0- 0 .000 6/0.9 8 0 2 20/2.9
Smith 3/0 0- 2 .000 0- 0 .000 0- 0 .000 1/0.3 1 0 0 0/ 0.0
USA 8 267-568 .470 35-114 .307 103-135 .763 335/41.9 98 30 107 672/84.0
OPP. 8 167-455 .367 47-147 .320 101-140 .721 193/24.1 76 9 57 482/60.2

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